HOLLY SPRINGS — It was standing room only at the Thursday meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission where members approved a 51-acre rezoning for the purpose of building 170 single-family houses off Payne Road behind the Riverside subdivision.

The applicant, LDS Partners LLC, approached the commission to propose the annexation and rezoning of 51 plus acres off Payne Road for the development of a single-family neighborhood. According to the representative, there were talks with the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners of combining the new neighborhood with Riverside to allow for one name, one HOA and connection between the two.

Community Development Director, Nancy Moon said, “Connectivity is a goal of both jurisdictions” and the applicant responded, “we would like to do it if it makes sense for both parties,” but no decision was made.

Eight residents came before the commission to state their opposition to the development. Concerns regarding safety, traffic, disturbing the peace, air quality, drainage and too many cars moving through the neighborhood were at the forefront. One speaker said, “what you’re planning on doing is a travesty” while another said “it’s going to be a mess,” which were representative of much of the remarks.

Commissioners and neighbors alike were concerned with a stipulation made my Cherokee County Board of Commissioners, that the second entrance to the proposed neighborhood not be opened until 150 homes were complete.

“I’m really okay with the plan,” commission member, John Wiegand said. “I just don’t understand why the second entrance won’t be open until the 150 house.”

The decision to only have one entrance available to start with will require traffic and construction alike to go through the Riverside subdivision to get to the new development until the second entrance is opened.

After the public hearing was closed, neighbors continued to call out and share their opinions when it appeared the commission was going to recommend the approval of the application. People yelled and stormed out in frustration before gathering outside to discuss their next steps in opposing the neighborhood.

The application was recommended for approval in a 3-1 vote with commission member Adrian Dekker being absent and Jennifer English in opposition. The motion passed with the stipulation of allowing access to both entrances from the start of the project. City Council will make the final decision on the application.

The next City Council meeting will be at 7 p.m. on June 17 at City Hall, 3235 Holly Springs Parkway.

Born and raised in the Canton/ Woodstock area, a graduate of Reinhardt University and a lover of life.

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